Oh, yes! I’m proud! I’m proud of what I have achieved, of who I am, of what I had to overcome and got over with on my own. And I’m proud of my ancestors. I’m proud to be a fourth- generation engineer, following into my father’s, grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s footsteps. (Even though my Grandfather was a steel man and my father and I turned to refractories.) And also following into my Grandmother’s footsteps by teaching and tutoring throughout my university years. And why shouldn’t I be? There’s a little part of all of them in me, making me the person I am, influenced by lovely people who were not blood relatives but still close to our hearts. I’m proud of my education and the way my parents brought me up. To give me opportunities and diversified interests. Enjoying all kinds of sports (swimming, skiing, ice-skating, tennis, basketball, biking), the museums we visited together, the vacations, encouraging me to learn different languages and also use them, theatre, musicals, concerts … and the knowledge what’s right and wrong. To be polite (most of the time), to respect people (ditto) and stand up for those less fortunate. To appreciate the little things, to treasure them, to see beauty in the old and the new. And above all, the way my parents treated each other. With such role models, it’s even more difficult to find the “right one”. Especially thinking of my father, his humour, his interests in everything, his intelligence, just the way he was … respected and loved by everyone, in his private as well as in his professional life, it’s a hard path to follow. Particularly in today’s day and age.

Looking at old documents going back to the 18th century I wish I could go back in time to talk to my ancestors. And I wish I had been older by the time my grandparents died to talk to them about their past. The war. Their youth. Their lives. But … well, apart from certain topics which were never talked about, we were also too fearful to ask. And our visits too rare to discuss such matters, since we lived in Carinthia, and most of my relatives were back in Styria. And now it’s too late. All that’s left are photographs, Super 8 movies, some handwritten recipe books and my memories. And even those seem to vanish, the way they spoke, moved, typical characteristics and gestures, only being resurrected in my dreams. Or flashes in certain situations.

But, well, I guess I’m still lucky. To have at least as much as I have in ways of things to remember them by, moving pictures – which I’m busy digitalising right now – and photographs from the very early beginning of photography. Even of people I don’t know and never will. From before World War I, friends, acquaintances, family members long gone. And still never forgotten because they too are part of my life, being treasured, looked at and wondered who they were, how they lived and died.

So, yes, I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud that I care, that in so many ways I’m different. Always have been. An old soul, linked to my ancestors in every way possible.



… or at least up to now … Yep, this is a feel-good article! I need something nice to think and write about, since the Trump situation and politics in general just makes me mad, mad, mad!

So, I was thinking of this ingenious title. And am now in the dilemma to come up with an even more ingenious list. And the question, whether to include Netflix and Amazon Prime series or just go with the good old ones. Ah, well, I’ll do it all!

1.) Jeeves & Wooster: still is my number 1 and probably always will be. The adaption from the beloved Wodehouse books with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry is just incredibly funny and lovely. With wonderful recurring characters like Gussie Fink-Nottle, Roderick Spode, Madeline Bassett, Aunt Agatha … I still remember where I bought the first season of the series. In a small shop on the below level of Covent Garden. On video, nonetheless. So, a very, very long time ago, in the 90s. (I do have the DVD collection now, of course!)

2.) Followed closely by Downton Abbey: of course, this is among my favourites as a sucker for everything the 20s had to offer, especially in terms of wardrobe and life of the British upper class. But more serious with Word War I and the financial troubles they also had to go through in the 30s.

3.) Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: and we have the 20s again. In Australia, this time. Love the books, love the series. And especially adore the Phryne Fisher’s wardrobe and the set design!

4.) Hollywood: the Netflix production threw me completely. Great storylines, wonderful wardrobe and portrayal of Hollywood in the 40s. And the cast? Phenomenal!

5.) The Office – An American Workplace: brilliant Steve Carell as lovable but annoying boss Michael Scott with an incredibly funny and whacky workforce. I got hooked at the first episode and even though I liked the British original with Ricky Gervais too, the American version is much funnier and the characters much more likable.

6.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine: As a big SNL fan, I just had to watch Adam Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta. I had to get used to it, but after the first few episodes I got hooked … can’t wait for the next seasons to come to Netflix.

7.) Parks and Recreation: and another former SNL cast member hitting your laughing muscles. Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, ambitious but kind bureaucrat, appreciating her crazy employees and trying to do the best for her town. 

8.) 30 Rock: Tina Fey … SNL (again) … do I need to say more? Throw in Alec Baldwin and you have a hit show on your hands. And you won’t be disappointed. I certainly was not.

9.) Get Smart: 60s James Bond parody created by Mel Brooks. Well, if Mel Brooks is involved, it just has to be good! (I must have seen his movie “Spaceballs” at least a dozen of times and I still count it among my favourites movies of all times! Just brilliant!) And it is! Still! 60 years later! Maxwell Smart, the ultimate spy, with his shoe telephone, “the dome of silent” and trusty sidekick Agent 99. The villains? KAOS – based on THRUSH from the series “The man from U.N.C.L.E.”, which is one of my favourites too.

10.) The Munsters: even older, but a timeless classic. Lovable Herman Munster and his family, with their awesome house and even more smashing car. My take on it? To show that being different doesn’t mean bad. 

Alright, I admit, it’s a bit one-sided … either the 20s or sitcoms. And I could count at least another 20 or so series I totally love. Starting with Alias, followed by Bewitched, Bones, Hustle, Magnum, Pushing Daisies, Scorpion, and tons more … but I had to start somewhere, didn’t I?


The post from a fellow blogger called “The alternative life” made me think about the “What ifs”of my life. The decisions I made and the questionwhat would have happened if I had chosen another path. Like going to Vienna to study something more common instead of choosing a technical study in a small town. Or living in a shared flat with other students instead of having the luxury of an apartment all to myself. Or staying in Austria to work at the university after my studies. Or … the decisions one makes are endless. Every single day one has to make decisions. What to wear, what to eat, whom to meet, going out or staying at home, … but of course it’s about the big things in life that matter most and could have resulted in a completely different outcome of what and who I am today.

In an alternative life, I might just live the typical life. Married, a house to pay off, two kids (well, probably not, I can’t think of an alternative life where I would actually want to have kids), the obligatory dog and maybe a cat, with divorce in the future due to his midlife crisis, debts, debts, debts … instead I’m happily single, with a special friend for the nice things in life and some fun, enjoy the luxury of being able to do whatever I want to, no responsibilities, no annoying extended in-law family, no even more annoying kids. Just my cat – and that’s responsibility enough.

And even though many years I suffered from the loneliness and not having made the usual experiences in terms of one relationship after another, I have found my “middle” now and know what I want and what I don’t want. 

Do I regret anything? No, not really. Looking back,one of the few things I really regret is not having spent even more time with my parents in my university years. And I wish in those days smartphones like today had existed to make short movies on holidays or in between to watch them move and talk. Of course, I still have Super 8 movies and some video camera movies … but it’s not the same and a lot of effort to play them. What else do I regret? Well, maybe I should have taken more time to buy my / a Rangey – and certainly not from those criminals in Berlin. In the end this was the final straw to slide into my depression. On the other hand, it’s another life experience resulting in every other decision I made after it. Shaping me. Making me what I am. And even though occasionally I do have a rather short fuse, when something doesn’t go according to plan or annoys me (the repercussions of my depressive episodes, being less resilient), I do like who I am and I am happy. And I know, I will be even happier when I’m back home hopefully in the near future.


10 years ago my mum died. 10 years ago I became an orphan. 10 years ago I lost the home I grew up in. 10 years ago my adult life began.

Thinking back to the last weeks with my Mum, I’m so happy we went to Caorle together, to the hotel we used to go to when I was a child. A trip back memory lane. Even though the hotel had changed a lot and was – apart from the exterior – not recognizable as the hotel we knew on the inside. But we enjoyed the few days. Since Mum had to use a wheelchair I couldn’t take her to the beach. But just being in Caorle, walking along the beach on the quay, enjoying the salty air and sun and the wonderful food, was good for both of us. And I know Dad was looking down on us, smiling and remembering the happy vacation days we often spent there. And happy for Mum to have some enjoyable and beautiful days. I’m sure he knew it wouldn’t take long for her to join him.

I miss her, I miss them. Still. Every single day. 10 years. Such a long time. But still as if it were yesterday. The good memories prevail, in my dreams and when I think of them I mostly see them in their healthy state, not weakened by the cancer …

Losing my home was hard. Losing my childhood, the place I knew I could always return to even though I had my own small apartment in my university town was even harder. Knowing that nothing would ever be the same. No more Christmases and traditional holidays together, no laughing, not hearing their voices, not being spoilt and loved. Angry, so angry, why they had to suffer so much and go while so many evil people are allowed to reach an old age. 

Selling the furniture, donating stuff, deciding what to keep together with my sister, packing up the rest … I stayed until the very end. Until the apartment was empty and the last sofa – from Dad’s study – was picked up. Spending the last night at our lovely neighbour’s and good friend before saying goodbye to my home the next day, driving back to Styria.

With an uncertain future ahead of me, with my degree but looking for a job, somewhere, anywhere. A new life awaiting me. Grateful to still have my aunts and sister, my friends close by. My moral support. Then and now. 

10 years. The grief is still there, surfacing at certain times, hurting so much I can barely breathe. Remembering …